Black History month program to be held on Feb. UTA

  • Published
  • By Dr. Annette Peartree-Mandley
  • 439th Airlift Wing
Westover Air Reserve Base will hold its annual Black History program on Sun. Feb. 10, at 1:30 p.m. in the 439th Airlift Wing Building 1850, Civilian Personnel Training Room. There will be an introduction and historical information on the meaning behind the month long recognition of the contributions of African Americans to our country. February is African American History Month which is also referred to as Black History Month. The official theme for February 2019, is “Black Migrations.” It seems to be a fitting theme because not only is migration one of today’s most pressing political issues, it is also a key part of the annual observance’s own history. The roots of Black History Month can be traced to the Great Migration of the early 20th century, when millions of African Americans moved from southern farms to southern cities, from the South to the North, Mid-west, and to the West, from the Caribbean to the US, and from the US to European cities as London and Paris in search of better job opportunities. In 1918, Carter G. Woodson published his book, A Century of Negro Migration, which argued that the Great Migration represented a “new phase of Negro American life which will prove to be the most significant event in our local history since the Civil War.” The book helped to put Woodson on the map, and less than a decade later — as literacy rates were on the rise among black populations in those cities — he was instrumental in establishing Negro History Week, the predecessor to Black History Month. -- Olivia Waxman/Time Magazine - month-founder-inventor/ Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of one’s divine right of freedom. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was [almost] 20 years old, his dedication to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma in West Virginia and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in just a few years. In 1912, he became the second African American to earn a PhD at Harvard University. -- The poster for Black History Month centers on a man’s silhouette consisting of numerous images of African Americans from all walks of life: inventors, scientists, military members, astronauts, actors/actresses, politicians, sports figures, and others. Some members include an icon of their key invention, an aspect of their profession or life, or a key historical location. The man is wearing a suit, a flat cap, and is carrying a briefcase, which was typical attire from the early 20th century. -- Submitted by Annette Peartree-Mandley, Special Emphasis Program Manager, 413-557-7139.